Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Central LA tar pits

bones of mammoths, antelope, sloth, saber tigers even camels were found in Hollywood at one time....fascinating - the la brea tar pits are right on the fancy wilshire blvd. (the miracle mile) right next door to LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) which, as it turns out, is closed on wednesday!!!! damn.
the pits were not closed and there was an excavation going on today. very cool. smelly though. i never knew until today that asphalt was mined, i just thought it was a man made mixture of tar or petroleum and gravel. but the tar pit at la brea was an asphalt quarry.
Natural asphalt was used extensively in ancient times. Ancient Babylonians used it as a building material, and it is referred to several times in the Old Testament books of Genesis and Exodus as a caulking material (see Bitumen). Natural deposits of asphalt occur in pits or lakes as residue from crude petroleum that has seeped up through fissures in the earth. Typical of these deposits are the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, in which the remains of prehistoric flora and fauna have been found

so the graces (see previous posts as to who the graces are) and i went on to visit the "hollyhock house" built by frank lloyd wright in 1921. never heard of it? it is right downtown Hollywood....
Hollyhock House, Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles

right smack in the middle of the seedy downtown Hollywood or again central LA is this lovely old historical brilliant work of architecture of the first cement houses ever built. i suggest seeing it. there is a nice park with a fantastic view of Hollywood hills and an art gallery there too. we were too late to get in... boohoo on 2 counts for art galleries today.

after all this i got us soooo lost coming home because i don't have a GPS system....nor a map nor a brain. i think i ended up zigzagging for about an extra four hundred miles all over LA county. wearisome business.
time for bed now. tomorrow we visit mexico.....ohboy, better bring passports.

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